Sotto on likelihood of leading Senate: Who am I to refuse?
Sen. Vicente Sotto III is open to succeeding Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III should the latter file his certificate of candidacy (COC) to run for reelection in 2019.
Sotto said that at the start of the 17th Congress, he and Pimentel had talked about a possible change in the Senate leadership later on.
They had agreed to take up the matter again before the filing of COCs, Sotto said, adding they would need to consult the other senators about it.
“We will consider the leadership of the Senate again and we will consult the members,” Sotto said at the Kapihan sa Senado forum.
“It can’t be that only two senators would discuss who would be the Senate leader. It’s always a consensus. It will be a majority decision,” he added.
Should the majority want him to be the next Senate President, Sotto said he would be open to the post.
“Who am I to refuse?” he said.
Open to change
Pimentel said any Senate leader should be open to change and that it was up to the majority to decide who they want to lead them.
“Changes can happen anytime, hence the present leadership should always be open to change,” Pimentel said in a text message.
Anybody chosen by the majority should not refuse the post, he said.
He also praised Sotto, describing him as an “institution” in the Senate.
“I always seek the advice of Sen. Sotto when I’m confronted with difficult or problematic issues concerning the Senate and its procedures,” he said.
Sotto had a shot at the Senate presidency early in the term of President Duterte. He was among three senators who either signified their intention to become Senate President or were being pushed for the post.
The position went to Pimentel, President Duterte’s partymate. The third hopeful for the post was then Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, the President’s running mate, who had since been named foreign secretary.
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